A Good Night’s Sleep Makes the Flu Vaccine Stronger

Every year it’s important to get the flu vaccine. It can make you severely ill and lead to death. This year, 30 percent of people in a survey said they were more likely than usual to get vaccinated. Making sure you stay healthy can keep you away from hospitals where you could come in contact with COVID-19. It’s also nice to not have the life-threatening flu virus in and of itself!

The CDC warned people not to get the flu vaccine early in the fall to avoid it losing potency by late winter. They wanted people to get it in October. Now is the perfect time! You’ll be covered against the virus throughout the winter. Even if your coverage isn’t perfect, if you become ill, you will be far less sick than you would have been had you not received the vaccine at all.

If you want the best coverage the flu shot can give you, it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep before receiving it. From cutting out sugar, to getting rid of blue light to eating more almonds we’ve written a lot about ways to improve your quality of sleep. Sleep is incredibly important for your overall health. And, not getting a good night’s sleep can make your flu vaccine ineffective. Your body may produce up to 50 percent less of the typical antibody response to the shot.

The same could be true of a COVID-19 vaccine, but a vaccine for that seems to be a way off as the studies keep being paused. Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep. You should also avoid alcohol the night before getting a flu shot to make sure it’s restful sleep.

Sleep is vital throughout the winter months to stay healthy from all the seasonal illnesses. “Individuals who are sleeping less than seven hours are three times more likely to become infected by the rhinovirus, or the common cold,” said sleep specialist Matthew Walker. “We know that individuals who are sleeping five hours or less a night are 70 percent more likely to contract pneumonia.”

As COVID-19’s symptoms are so similar to the flu’s, getting the flu shot can help doctors diagnose you should you become ill. And, it’s possible to have both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time that could make you even sicker than if you had one or the other. We are thrilled that so many people plan on getting the flu shot this year. Every year, the flu shot protects you from becoming ill. This year, with social distancing, masks, hand washing and practicing not touching our faces, there is a good chance it won’t spread as much as it usually does. Still, the Glucocil team are big believers in “better safe than sorry.”

Speak to your pharmacist about what’s best for you, sleep on it and get your flu shot!

Banner image: Tracey Hocking via Unsplash
October 22, 2020
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